Over 200 Chinese vessels moored at West Philippine Sea reef | Global News
Close  

Over 200 Chinese vessels moored at West Philippine Sea reef

/ 08:31 AM March 21, 2021
Around 220 Chinese maritime militia vessels were moored at a West Philippine Sea reef recently, a government task force said Saturday. The vessels were spotted in line formation at the Julian Felipe (Whitsun) Reef on March 7, 2021, said a report from the Philippine Coast Guard to the National Task Force West Philippine Sea.

Around 220 Chinese militia vessels were spotted moored at Julian Felipe Reef in the West Philippine Sea last March 7, 2021. (NTF WPS)

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government expressed concern after spotting 220 Chinese vessels it believed to be “manned by Chinese maritime militia personnel” at a reef in the West Philippine Sea.

The vessels were spotted in line formation at the Julian Felipe (Whitsun) Reef on March 7, 2021, the Philippine Coast Guard said in a report to the National Task Force West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS).

ADVERTISEMENT

The task force raised the concern “due to the possible overfishing and destruction of the marine environment, as well as risks to safety of navigation.”

“Despite clear weather at the time, the Chinese vessels massed at the reef showed no actual fishing activities and had their full white lights turned on during night time,” it said.

FEATURED STORIES

Julian Felipe Reef is a large boomerang – shaped shallow coral reef northeast of Pagkakaisa Banks and Reefs (Union Reefs), located approximately 175 nautical miles west of Bataraza, Palawan, the task force said.

The reef is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, which the NTF -WPS said the Philippines owns “exclusive right to use resources, including fish, oil and natural gas.”

The task force said the government will continue to monitor the situation to protect Philippine sovereignty and sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea.

“In consonance with the Philippine commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Government shall continue to peacefully and proactively pursue its initiatives on environmental protection, food security and freedom of navigation in the West Philippine Sea as part of its overall national security policy,” it said.

Asked if a diplomatic protest would be filed, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the DFA will do so upon the recommendation of the military.

Locsin cuts PCVF proposed 2021 budget by P16.09M to 'reflect' VFA abrogation

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro  Locsin Jr. FILE PHOTO

“Only if the generals tell me. In my watch foreign policy is the fist in the iron glove of the armed forces. I don’t care for media. Undependable. And civilian,” he said on Twitter.

China claims sovereignty over nearly the entire South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea, which refers to waters claimed by the Philippines.

gsg
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: China, Julian Felipe Reef, South China Sea, Whitsun
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.